How is the framework constructed?

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What we need to know 

This covers the core knowledge and understanding practitioners need to enable them to effectively select and apply community needs assessment and engagement approaches and techniques. It covers the background policies and theories and supports practitioners both to consider why they are undertaking community needs assessment or engagement and the role that they play. It encourages practitioners to approach the task in a reflective manner and one which is grounded in the principles of community learning and development.

This forms the basis for the approaches, materials and methods included in the following part.

Practitioners are encouraged to read this part to support them in planning their approach, the reason for undertaking it - and to support them in considering the appropriateness of what they are trying to do.

What we need to be able to do

This contains two types of resources:

A suite of material is included, with commentaries, hints and tips, advice on use and signposts to other websites. It assists practitioners in considering a range of ways of undertaking the task - and supports them to select the most appropriate techniques for the community they are working in and the reason they are undertaking the task.
Materials to support experienced practitioners to help others to undertake community needs assessment and engagement.

This section is structured to enable practitioners to consider why they are undertaking a task, their level of expertise and the needs of the community they are working in or group they are working with- and select the most appropriate material.

What do we mean by a practitioner?

Practitioners involved in community needs assessment and community engagement come from a range of agencies, organisations and backgrounds. They are not all CLD Workers but they will all be involved in working in and with communities in some form. They may be people who are trying to develop and deliver services or policies; they may be working in distinct geographic community - or across a range of communities - or with communities of interest/identity; they may work within public service or across the community and voluntary sector.

Whatever their role or their organisation this framework is designed to be relevant and useful in relation to the practice of community needs assessment and community engagement.

What are the Core Principles/Values on which our work should be based?

CLD is a way of working as well as a profession. The principles and values described here, although designed for CLD should be relevant and applicable to all of the practitioners described above.

The core principles that underpin Community Learning and Development practice are:

  • Needs-led
  • Asset-based
  • Participatory
  • Collaboration/partnership
  • Change and outcome-focused
  • Promoting continuous learning and improvement

These principles form the basis for the approaches, materials and methods included in this learning framework as well as any other resources that are referenced or signposted to.